First came the unsettling news that the city plans to build a 140-bed homeless shelter in the Park Savoy Hotel on West 58th Street, amid the sparkling glass towers of Billionaires’ Row. The plan was met with a lawsuit by a neighborhood coalition, claiming the building would be hazardous for its residents and its neighbors.
Now, in an only-in-New-York twist, a failed condo conversion may bring a “5-star detox and rehab facility” to the posh neighborhood, Crain’s reports. The 14-story building at 140 W. 57th Street, a few doors from Carnegie Hall, was cleared of its rental tenants to make way for a planned conversion to condo apartments. After that plan foundered, a group called the Sackato Society has proposed filling the 76,000-square-foot building with the city’s “First 5-Star Detox & Rehab facility,” according to a proposal submitted by the firm to Community Board 5, which will review it at a meeting Tuesday evening.
The private, for-profit center would treat clients ages 13 to 26, offering therapies for opioid, cocaine or alcohol addictions – with the perks of New York City living as part of the healing. “This cutting-edge facility offers luxurious accommodations and amenities, providing the customers a 5-star experience while receiving the highest quality treatment,” read Sackato’s marketing materials, which promise private tutors and outings to Chelsea Piers.
The plan has led to some inevitable head-scratching about the wisdom of placing a rehab facility for young people across the street from the soaring One57 condo tower, where a penthouse apartment sold for just more than $100 million. “Like everybody, I’m just curious as to why this neighborhood,” said David Achelis, president of the West 50s Neighborhood Association. “Are they planning on helping the sons of the Russian oligarchs from the penthouses of One57? Is that who they’re planning on serving?”
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